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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Physician Quality Reporting System Program Updates and the Impact on Emergency Medicine Practice

  • Author(s): Wiler, Jennifer L.
  • Granovsky, Michael
  • Cantrill, Stephen V.
  • Newell, Richard
  • Venkatesh, Arjun K.
  • Schuur, Jeremiah D.
  • et al.

In 2007, the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) created a novel payment program to create incentives for physician’s to focus on quality of care measures and report quality performance for the first time. Initially termed “The Physician Voluntary Reporting Program,” various Congressional actions, including the Tax Relief and Health Care Act of 2006 (TRHCA) and Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act of 2008 (MIPPA) further strengthened and ensconced this program, eventually leading to the quality program termed today as the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS). As a result of passage of the Affordable Care Act of 2010, the PQRS program has expanded to include both the “traditional PQRS” reporting program and the newer “Value Modifier” program (VM). For the first time, these programs were designed to include pay-for-performance incentives for all physicians providing care to Medicare beneficiaries and to measure the cost of care. The recent passage of the Medicare Access and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) Reauthorization Act in March of 2015 includes changes to these payment programs that will have an even more profound impact on emergency care providers. We describe the implications of these important federal policy changes for emergency physicians.

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